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Many seniors suffering depression have also noticed impairment to their coginative thinking

The Link Between Cognitive Impairment And Depression

Studies show how Depression leads to Cognitive Impairment

The University of Amsterdam has found a link between depression and cognitive impairment via a study implemented by researchers. The study showed that three to sixty-three percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) also had symptoms of depression. Another study showed that patients who were suffering from dementia also had a history of depression as well.

This study was performed in Northern Manhattan, New York and it included 2,160 Medicare recipients 65 years of age and older.

“We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent MCI and dementia, incident dementia, and progression from prevalent MCI to dementia, but not to incident MCI.” stated, Dr. Edo Richard, MD, PhD, researcher, University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, department of neurology, and colleagues.

To look into the world of depression, the CES-D scale, which is a scale specifically designed to measure depression symptoms, was used. The results showed that the baseline depression was in fact associated to MCI and dementia. The study also showed that patients who had MCI and were currently depressed and were more susceptible to vascular dementia but not Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers of the study stated that, “The association of depression with prevalent MCI and with progression from MCI to dementia, but not with incident MCI, suggests that depression accompanies cognitive impairment but does not precede it.”

Many studies have found that anywhere between five and twenty percent of seniors have MCI in some way. Seniors with MCI have an increased risk for developing dementia and if they are depressed, the risk increases.

When it comes to the mental health of seniors, it is important to not only keep them active but to also keep happy. Seniors can become very depressed in their day to day lives and it is so important to keep them involved in their communities and to help them to make a difference because when people make a difference, they feel needed and when a person feels needed, they feel less depressed.


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